If you are wondering how to improve your search rankings, you have to change your mindset with respect to some of these SEO myths.
SEO is changing and you need to change your strategy along with it, or just get left behind in the race. How to win SEO? Follow the basic strategy:
- Tap into a niche market
- Create quality content
- Back it with stats/data
- Solve a specific real problem
- Promote your blog post
- Let go of SEO myths
Voila!! You have won the SEO strategy. But the last one is a game changer. It is these myths that stop content marketers from improving their search rankings. With the advent of Hummingbird, SEO is changing and here’s how.
Without Much Ado, Let’s Move on to the Top SEO Myths That You Need to be Aware of.
#1) Keyword Targeting – Is it one of the SEO Myths?
When you run a blog or a site, you naturally want to increase traffic. You can then convert visitors into customers.
It would be foolish to deny the importance of relevant keywords in content. But the approach has to change.
- Google now follows a semantic search. It doesn’t directly take users’ words and search for a match, but rather evaluates what the intention behind the query could be. It then offers an appropriate result.
- Instead of focusing on the keyword ratio, focus on the intent of searchers.
- For instance, if a person searches for ‘the movie where this guy takes pills to control emotions’; ask yourself why he/she would use these words:
- Does the user want a guy taking pills?
- Does he want a movie with emotions?
- Does he want the name of the movie where a guy takes pills?
- Hummingbird promptly comes up with the name of the movie: Equilibrium!
- The current algorithm change makes it important to know why the user has typed in a specific keyword.
- You have to create content that meets the requirement or the need.
- The power of keywords will become less relevant with semantic search becoming more sophisticated.
#2) Meta Tags Matter or is it Another SEO Myth?
Meta tags offer information about your site to search engines. They are like a preview or a snippet for your web page and contain top keyword phrases.
The jury is still out on whether meta keywords can impact your SEO, especially after Hummingbird.
- Google does not make use of keywords in the meta tag for ranking your page. It was done because content writers often stuffed irrelevant keywords and abused it, so Google began to disregard it.
- However, meta tags might still work, as they are a summary of your page. Visitors can know what to expect in the site by reading the meta tag so it is useful to them. A well written meta tag describes the content of the page and grabs the user’s attention and makes him click on it.
- However, Google does not make use of the meta tag for ranking.
#3) Writing Meta Tags is Easy – Myth Busted
- Stuffing the meta tag with as much information as possible is not a good idea. Keep it crisp, relevant and brief. For instance, you don’t have to include the author, the regional tags, the copyright and so on.
- If you’re using irrelevant keywords in meta tags, you’re way off the mark. Use the correct and relevant keywords. Commas and spaces don’t matter here. You can say ‘block buster movies’ or ‘blockbuster movies’.
- Title tag is important, as it helps the search engine and the user to know more about the content.
- The number of characters is important, as you could get cut across right in the middle of some important keywords.
#4) Headlines Don’t Matter – Myth or Fact?
- Influencing Buyers.
- Headlines play an important role for your search engine ranking. Ted Nicholas says that 73% of customers make their purchasing decisions at the headline point. If the headline grabs their attention, they will continue reading your post. Saying headlines don’t matter is one of the SEO myths.
- Higher Search Engine Ranking.
- Creating a catchy headline using the right keywords will increase user engagement, decrease the bounce rate and improve your website ranking, so saying that headlines don’t matter is one of the SEO myths, it matters.
- Make a selection of the relevant keywords and integrate them in your headlines. Put the keywords first and then create a natural headline around them. There are many sites that can help you create powerful headlines. All you have to do is to enter your main keyword and then search for the options.
#5) Top Level Domain Names are Important for SEO – Myth or Fact?
Top level domain names are .com or .net, whereas there are other lesser known ones like .biz or .guru, .club, .company. When users type in keywords, 98% of the results shown are .com domains.
- .com domains have proven to achieve better results as far as conversions are concerned.
- Recent studies comparing rankings of different domains show that Google AdWords favors newer TLDs or top-level domains. It resulted in higher impressions and better search engine ranking.
- It is recommended to go in for a .com domain as well as a new TLD one.
- In case of a site with an international audience, generic TLDs work quite well. If you already have a site with such domain names, not to worry. Just focus on quality content and connecting to social media for content promotion.
- The last word is .com still triumphs over all the others; so sticking to top-level domain names pays off. It’s not an SEO myth.
- Top level domain names like .com or .net offer a long term brand benefit, as it is memorable and sounds professional.
- Must Read – Points to Remember While Choosing a Blog Name
#6) Anchor Text must be Keyword Rich? Fact or Myth?
The question is whether you should use relevant keywords in the anchor text while building links. Anchor texts are the ones that users can click on and it takes the user to another post, site or blog.
- Making your content full of keywords, by including keywords in the anchor text could result in over optimization. Google could penalize you for it.
- Anchor text with keywords worked before Penguin, but the latest algorithms are onto the trick.
- Avoid cross-linking with anchor text that is rich in your keywords. It’s risky. Do not abuse anchor text or you’ll be penalized for unnatural links.
- That said, used with discretion, contextual anchor text could result in a slightly increased search engine ranking.
- Your anchor text can be a mix of primary as well as secondary keywords, your brand, etc.
- Words like ‘go’ or ‘click here’ are meaningless, so descriptive texts are better
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#7) Google Can Crawl and Index New Content Without Your Input – SEO Myths or Fact?
When you publish new content, can Google crawl and discover as well as index the content without any crawl optimization? Or is it one of the SEO myths?
It’s not one of the SEO myths. Search engines can do it, but it could take a few days. You can start the ball rolling and assist the Google search spiders to find and index your new content.
- When you publish new content, the XML sitemap is automatically sent to top search engines. Google then begins to index your content.
- You can hasten the process by updating the content in the social media. Just share the link on your favorite social media platform or tweet about it.
- You can also use some free services to ping web services and give them notification of the new content. It will enable you to get the new content indexed much faster.
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#8) Getting an SEO Agency is a Must – Myth or Fact?
Here’s one of my favorite SEO myths. How on earth can an SEO agency guarantee that your page will rank at the top in search engines? SEO agencies are not magic bullets that fire and send you to the top rankings.
- SEO agencies may be useful for finding targeted keywords.
- They can help with content marketing.
- They are useful for metric analysis and making the necessary adjustments.
- However, they cannot assure a quick fix and take you to the top of the search page.
- There is no guarantee, because it is impossible to predict future keywords.
Getting a Head Start
SEO is a chameleon and is constantly changing. There are new updates, new trends and strategies. It is an evolving environment. Target better keywords, search phrases and understand your targeted customer’s shopping patterns to know the right phrases.
Write for users as well as search engines. At the end of the day, businesses need organic search traffic. SEO is the only vehicle that can drive the traffic to your site.
But, rather than focusing on SEO alone, use a more focused social media approach. Diversify your traffic source. Consider newsletters and subscription content.
Google could be bringing you 80% of the traffic to your site today. Yet, the next algorithm could turn everything on its head and all your existing SEO strategy could turn out to be myths.
Create a great content and use the social media to get loyal followers to your site. The whims of the latest search engines will no longer matter much.